Trichomonas vaginalis is a prevalent sexually transmitted infection (STI). Diagnosis has historically relied on either microscopic analysis or culture, the latter being the previous gold standard. However, these tests are not readily available for male diagnosis, generally only perform well for symptomatic women, and are not as sensitive as nucleic acid amplification tests (NAATs). Men are largely asymptomatic but carry the organism and transmit to their sexual partners. This multicenter, prospective study evaluated the performance of the cobas T. vaginalis/Mycoplasma genitalium (TV/MG) assay for detection of T. vaginalis DNA compared with patient infection status (PIS) defined by a combination of commercially available NAATs and culture using urogenital specimens. A total of 2,064 subjects (984 men and 1,080 women, 940 [45.5%] symptomatic, 1,124 [54.5%] asymptomatic) were evaluable. In women, sensitivity ranged from 99.4% (95% confidence interval [CI] 96.8 to 99.9%) using vaginal samples to 94.7% (95% CI 90.2 to 97.2%) in PreservCyt samples. Specificity ranged from 98.9 to 96.8% (95% CI 95.4 to 97.8%). In men, the cobas TV/MG assay was 100% sensitive for the detection of T. vaginalis in both male urine samples and meatal swabs, with specificity of 98.4% in urine samples and 92.5% in meatal swabs. The cobas TV/MG is a suitable diagnostic test for the detection of T. vaginalis, which could support public health efforts toward infection control and complement existing STI programs.
Keywords: NAAT; Trichomonas vaginalis; molecular methods; urogenital.